The standalone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) went from 175,922 in April to 200,178 units in May. Urban starts were up 14.6 per cent in May to 177,234 units, led by a 22.2 per cent rise in multiple urban starts to 114,346 units. Single urban starts increased by three per cent to 62,888 units in May.
While the numbers were up, CMHC said the trend is flat.
“The trend in total housing starts was essentially unchanged in May as gains in the multiple starts segment partly offset the moderation in activity that was observed in previous months, especially in Atlantic Canada and Ontario. As a result, the trend in housing activity remains close to its historical average and is in-line with estimates of household formation,” said CMHC deputy chief economist Mathieu Laberge.
The Regional picture
- Broad strokes: Urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, and were essentially unchanged in the Prairies. Urban starts decreased in British Columbia and Quebec
- Calgary: Total starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area (CMA) reached 1,078 units in May, a 14 per cent increase from 949 in May 2012
- Vancouver: New home construction was trending lower in May as declines in townhome and apartment starts off-set increases in single-detached housing construction. The standalone monthly SAAR in the Vancouver CMA was 14,690 units in May, down from 17,986 in April.
- Montreal: Housing starts in Montreal were trending at 14,335 units in May, compared to 15,812 in April. David L’Heureux, CMHC’s senior market analyst for region, said the downward trend was observed in both the single-detached and multi-family housing segments. A slowdown that was expected, L’Heureux said, given the modest economic performance and the more balanced conditions on the resale market
- Toronto: Canada’s most populated city got an unexpected bump in May. For a closer analysis of the Toronto numbers read our earlier story here
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